Rumble Through Rural America Tour: Chulahoma’s Garden and J&B Farms

Wednesday 01 May 2024

Written by Frank Taylor

Winston County Self Help Cooperative (WCSHC) continued its “Rumble Through Rural America Tour” on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. WCSHC hosted two educational field days. The ragtag team gathered in the Wal-Mart parking lot as darkness disappeared into sunlight. At 6:15 a.m., team members started piling into the van with the four Ps: pens, pencils, pads, and paper. Shirley swirled the van onto Highway 15 North for a two-hour and twenty-minute drive to their first stop. As Shirley propelled the van along the two-lane artery, members chatted about the temperature change and the shifting weather pattern. MacArthur Carter said, “Our weather fronts are moving across Mississippi from the west. This pattern produces warm nights that elevate the soil temperature and make growing conditions more conducive to germinating seeds.”

After thirty minutes of riding, members napped, and others enjoyed solitude. The ragtag team finally arrived at Chulahoma’s Garden and Mississippi Sustainable & Specialty Crop Growers Alliance Farm. Delorise and Tony Jones welcomed various individuals to their organic farm in the western part of Marshall County and expressed their gratitude to the audience. Revelyn Coleman, from the Mississippi Progressive Agricultural Group (MSPAG), managed the registration table. 

This model farm has numerous regenerative practices to help enhance soil fertility. The Jones family specializes in the production of a variety of leafy green vegetables. Participants saw unique conservation methods, including high tunnels with drip irrigation, plastic mulching, and pollination habitats. 

Thaddeus Fairley Sr., State Executive Director of FSA, and Christy Robinson, Area One NRCS Conservationist, delivered information from their agencies. James Brewer, a farmer, conveyed words of certainty about vegetable production. Veronica Davis, Marshall County, FSA, highlighted her agency’s services portfolio.

The ragtag team left for Annie’s Home Cooking eatery on Memphis Street in Holly Springs. Columbus McReynolds said, “This food is down-home good.” Over fifty individuals from the field day engulfed the food at Annie’s buffet. 

WCSHC bid friends farewell and drove one mile to the historic campus of Rust College. Arlexis Cunninghan-Yarbrough, a WCSHC team member, attended and graduated from Rust College in the mid-seventies. Seven members took the opportunity to roam the campus for thirty-five minutes. Shirley remained behind the wheel, preparing for the fifty-six-minute drive to J&B Farms in Ripley, MS.

The cavalry arrived at J&B Farms for a prompt start. Coach James Storey, the farm owner, was on the job, giving directions to attendees. According to Frank Taylor, the Storey family has been partnering with WCSHC for over twenty years, and we appreciate their hospitality. “They hosted a canning workshop and a meeting at their church. We thank Coach and Brenda for allowing us to be here today.” Coach Storey has a diverse farm operation comprising cattle, forestry, poultry, Beagle dogs, and vegetables.

John Estes, NRCS, DC, elaborated on many programs to help farmers. Brandon Alberson, Tippah County Extension Agent, talked about their 4-H program and various specialized services to help the public. 

View photos from J&B Farm Field Day.

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